Roberto Mancini has reiterated his desire to fill the Italy vacancy, admitting it would be "extraordinary" to coach his country.
Zenit head coach Mancini is on the shortlist to replace Gian Piero Venturo, who was sacked after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 following their shock play-off defeat to Sweden.
Former Inter and Manchester City boss Mancini has made no secret of his willingness to coach the Azzurri and he confessed his emotional connection with the national team, having earned 36 international caps.
"When you're abroad you always miss your country," the 53-year-old said in an interview with Sky Italia.
"You see the national team playing and it takes you back to the past, the 70s and the 80s, with great emotion.
"You never know in life, I think that coaching Italy one day would be an extraordinary thing.
"In the meantime, though I'll try to win and do my best with Zenit."
Zenit are also fifth in the Russian Premier League and 10 points behind leaders Lokomotiv Moscow.